Transitions of a TCK
From Guest Writer, Julia Walker; here is her previous post on what is a TCK.
Transitions and movement are an integral part of being a TCK who grows up living around the world. There will be various times throughout a TCKs upbringing that will require them to move- each posing different benefits and challenges. Here are the four major transitions a TCK will likely face as you make your move to and between international schools:
1. Leaving Your “Passport/Home” Country
If you have started your family in what you consider your home country, before moving overseas, then the first move in your TCKs life will be them leaving the country they were born in. Depending on their age, this will determine the level of challenges these children may face when transitioning to your new country and school.
2. Moving Schools
You are likely to move to multiple international schools during your career as an international teacher. You may move schools within the same country or move countries entirely. Either way, moving schools can be challenging for your TCK, especially if the school system changes.
3. Returning to “Passport/Home” Country
Upon graduating high school, your child will most likely return to their passport country or move somewhere else. Typically, TCKs move back to their passport country for post secondary education, military duties or work. This can be an especially difficult transition as this may be the first time they are moving somewhere alone and leaving the bubble of international school life.
4. To Move or to Settle?
After a childhood of moving around and potentially repatriating to their home country your TCK faces the decision to settle or to keep moving. If they choose to move again, the next move(s) your child makes will be as adult third culture kids (ATCKS) as they are no longer children. They may want to settle in their passport country or they will continue to move throughout their life and this is something they will have to decide.
For more info about Third Culture Kids, check out Julia's podcast Across Oceans, where she discusses all things related to TCKs, growing up overseas and more!
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